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Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 first impressions: Promising upgrade from the predecessor with strong potential

Xiaomi unveiled its first phone of 2016 for the Indian market - the Redmi Note 3.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is available in two variants and will start retailing in India from 9 March at 2PM on Amazon. The 16GB storage with 2GB RAM variant costs Rs 9,999 and the 32GB storage with 3GB RAM variant costs Rs 11,999.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 features a 5.5inch full HD IPS LCD display which gives it a pixel density of 401ppi. This is the first phone to be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 650 chipset which has a hexacore CPU and Adreno 510 GPU. This is paired with either a 2GB RAM + 16GB storage option or 3GB RAM + 32GB storage option.

The handset runs MIUI 7 skin atop the Android 5.1 OS. The fingerprint scanner on the Redmi Note 3 can be used to unlock the phone as well as some third party apps. On the connectivity front, it offers hybrid dual SIM slot which can accept two 4G SIM cards (nano + micro), Wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS with A GPS and so on.

The smartphone rocks 16MP rear camera with a 5 element lens and an aperture of f/2.0. and a 5MP front facing camera for selfies. The phone uses dual image signal processors from Qualcomm for the image processing work.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is fitted with a non-removable 4050mAh Li ion battery which, according to company claims, gives a full day usage.

On paper the Note 3 looks like it has it all, but the Snapdragon 650 is an experimental chipset. The competition is quite tough in this segment now, unlike back when the Redmi Note was launched.